Salvation Army Rep: Gays Should Die

Organization rejects official's statement
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 25, 2012 1:16 PM CDT
Shoppers walk past a Salvation Army kettle on December 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A Salvation Army official, charged with, of all things, media relations, has ignited a firestorm over the charity's stance on homosexuality: Appearing on an Australian radio show, Major Andrew Craibe was asked about a Salvation Army doctrine that decrees gays "deserve death." Responded Craibe in a story picked up by the Atlantic, "Well, that’s a part of our belief system."

When the hosts of the program, which addresses gay issues, asked if "we should die," Craibe replied: "You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief." A "Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine" says that "those who practice (homosexual acts) deserve to die." But the charity itself is quickly backing away from Craibe's remarks, saying the passage refers to a "spiritual death," and that the Salvation Army does "not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment."

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